Category Archives: trees

Trees in 30 minutes!

I had an email a couple of weeks back about the trees in my games.

I know I posted a blog a few years back but thought I would do a quick one, again.

Step One – Find Trunks

I do not spend hours making wire armatures, i don’t have the time or the patience.

I am lucky enough to have a  Rhododendron (I think), my wife is the gardener. When pruned, I keep the cuttings to make tree trunks. The stem/branch has just the right look of a fully grown tree.                  

Stage Two – Help Them Stand

In my last article I glued the trunk to a large washer. Now I tend to drill the base of the trunk and glue in a nail or spear wire. They are small enough not to leave too visible a mark on the terrain tile. I just fill the drilled hole with cheap superglue and push in the wire/nail. It also helps during the construction. I normally have a piece of polystyrene sheet handy to stick them in like a production line.

Stage Three – Foliage

Get your “Rubberised Horse Hair” and cut circles out of it. Mine are normally about 3″ or 75mm in diameter but do not worry if they are not a perfect circle or 3″.  Then pull the layers that make up the Horse hair apart.

Take these de-laminated layers and glue them to the trunk. Keep adding the layers until you have a foliage you like. This is why size and shape do not matter too much.

I bought recently a brilliant rechargeable glue gun for a few pounds at a “budget” supermarket. Not having the wire really helps. It takes five minutes to charge before you can use it.

Stage Four – Leaves

What ever show I go to I look around for cheap scatter material. At the last show there was someone selling bags of home made scatter (coloured sawdust) 4 for a £1. I never worry too much about colour matching I just throw it all together for this type of use. I put all the scatter in a carrier bag inside a bin. the picture is not great but the scatter fills a Christmas sweet tin in size.

Next get some spray glue and wearing a glove on my left hand, I hold the trunk while screening the trunk from over-spray apply the glue until it foams white. I tend to only spray the tops. This leaves the underside bare and I think it looks more like branches.

I then transfer the tree to my right gloved hand to immerse in the scatter material. The fresh gloved hand stops scatter sticking to the over-sprayed glove. Shake off the excess back into the bin and you have a tree.

There you have it.

In 30 minutes I made 8 trees. I worked out the cost to be about £6 for all 8. This size of tree is usually on sale for about £10-12 pounds each at shows, so give it a go and save a fortune.

The dearest part is the Rubberised hair but I have had a 6×4 sheet from a local upholsterers, for a while now and it is still going strong. I make my trees large but  if you like smaller, then smaller trunks mean smaller diameter circles. Here are some 28mm ECW for scale with the rest of the trees.

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